Long-distance relationships are not easy to navigate. Especially if the couple was together at the start of the relationship and then they had to move apart.
When the partners become used to physical proximity and being close to each other for a long time, any distance between them can seem gaping and be daunting for them.
And in this newfound confusion and perplexity, they often make mistakes that they repent later on. It is not easy being away from a person whom you love but keeping a few tips in mind can aid you in getting through these tough times.
Here is what you should expect in a long-distance relationship
Although at the end of the day, your relationship is only as strong as the people involved in it, keeping the following points in mind can make you feel better at times:
Get addicted to your gadgets
Your mobile phone is no longer used to search through random posts on Instagram or check out the latest controversies on Twitter. It is the portal to keep visiting your partner. When couples move apart, as it often happens, and it is often advised as well that they keep in contact as much as possible.
The biggest risk in moving physically apart is the potential breakdown of communication.
Nothing is more harmful to a relationship than ineffective and insufficient communication. Being on the phone and video calling over the laptop becomes a norm, and your friends will find you glued to the electronic screen throughout the day.
It is alright to be fixated on the screen-
There will be people around who might tell you to chill and enjoy the moment and keep the phone away. When enough people start telling you that, you start doubting your actions. You start having second thoughts as to is it really healthy to be addicted to the phone.
You start asking yourself if your partner is going through a similar addiction. But the answer to these self-doubts is that it is alright. Let no one tell you that you cannot be needy when you are in a long-distance relationship.
Only a couple in the scenario knows how difficult it is and if your phone is your best friend, let it be.
Loads of awkward questions
People love to create problems where there are none and seed doubts where they are not required. So, when they find out that you are in a long-distance relationship, they will definitely come up with the most awkward questions they can.
They will ask you if you feel insecure if your partner might cheat on you, if you feel like cheating on your partner and it goes on. Initially, these questions might alarm you. It is very natural for these questions to terrify you.
After all, you might never have been away from your partner for so long.
Mistrusting each other
Identifying the fact that your insecurities have nothing to do with your partner’s actions and that they are a result of those awkward questions is the first step.
Tell yourself that these strangers know nothing of your relationship and their questions are baseless in your scenario. Do not be swayed by them and do not let those questions destroy your peace of mind.
Talk to your partner about these questions. And you will realize that he or she too gets them. That will clear the air between you.
Always keep in mind that the only person whose words matter in a long-distance relationship are those of your partner’s. So, listen to them and nobody else.
People who have never been in a long-distance relationship never know how difficult it is. You only know the extent of missing and loneliness you feel when you actually get into one.
And when you are passing through such a tough time, you are given a free pass on some vices.
One of them is the right to be jealous. You look around and see other couples having the time of their lives.
And then you read billboards screaming out at you to spend your life with your loved ones because life is too short.
Envy your way through-
It can all seem too much at times. Especially in the initial days, jealousy can hit you hard. And then you might feel guilty for having felt that pang of jealousy. But let us tell you that it is perfectly normal to feel that.
It is alright to be jealous of the people who get to spend time with your partner, of the couples who get to spend time together, or even your single friends who do not have to feel the pang of being estranged from their significant others.
All it takes for you to get through is to know that it would not last forever.
Do not expect every meeting to be awesome
In long-distance relationships, the meetings are the most special moments. You might only meet once or twice a year depending on the distance and the schedule of the two of you.
And this would be that meeting which had been planned for months in advance and which you were looking forward to for such a long time.
You have made up all these ideas as to how it will go. How he will sweep you off your feet and you guys will spend the best day and night together. But then reality hits hard on you guys.
It will not be as fun always
You might end up feeling like that. There may be multiple reasons for the visits to not have been magical. One of you might have been occupied mentally in your respective professions, or maybe you were just overestimating the fun you guys would have.
You might feel disheartened after such a visit. The sooner you realize that expecting all meetings to live up to your expectations is naïve, the better.
Just because the two or three days that you spent together were not great does not in any way mean there is anything wrong with your relationship.
Be more mature and less judgmental of yourself or your partner based on an experience of two days when you have known each other for much longer.
Long-distance relationships are quite unlike casual dating. It is not the same as being in a serious relationship living together either. Long-distance relationships require a lot of investments.
The two people involved need to have a mental and emotional investment in the relationship for it to work.
It is difficult to stay faithful, patient, and strong when your partner is miles apart. You will have instances of jealousy, seduction, and more. To counter all those and stay in it, is a massive task.
And when you are putting in so much effort, there need to be talks of the future.
Let each other know what they want-
The future cannot be uncertain in long-distance relationships. The amount of investments that the partners are making in the relationship deserves that certainty. Talk to each other regarding the future career moves that you may be considering.
Tell your partner which city you plan on moving to. Also, have mature discussions about the future of the two of you together.
Talk about getting a house, marriage, and family. No longer should you consider the future to be out of bounds.
Do not hesitate in getting into those tough conversational topics. If there is uncertainty in your relationship, think twice before committing to a long-distance one.
Gaining more friends
When you are far away from your partner you will definitely have more space around you. If you used to hang with your partner all the time earlier, now you are mostly on your own.
It is true that you will call them up almost always or text them continuously, but that does not make up for the lack of physical people around you.
And no matter what you think, your partner who is miles away cannot fill up that space and you will end up feeling alone and without support. And sure enough, others notice it as well.
Friends can keep your misery at bay-
Your friends will become more empathetic to you gradually. Even you would start opening up to them about your struggles. You would also meet new people and make new friends.
No longer can your life rotate around that of your partner’s. And it is perfectly fine.
Meeting new people and making more friends helps you in getting over your loneliness and solitude. It is always healthy to be occupied with friends.
Do not feel guilty about having fun with other people. Most probably that is exactly what your partner wants from you.
Your partner may appear better than they are
This usually happens in long-distance relationships. This is mainly because of the distance between you guys, you fail to notice the little quirks which may be annoying in reality.
When you are away from your partner, you are constantly wanting to be with them. You miss them all the time and the negative factors cease to matter.
All either of you wants all the time is to meet up and be together. You only notice how your partner calls throughout the day, how he remembers all your special dates, how he never misses a chance to order gifts for you, and many other favorable qualities.
Clear up the irritants as well-
But while enjoying all the virtues of your partner, do not get too complacent. Make sure to notice some irritating behavior of your partner and let them know what you think of it. When you guys meet up after five or six months, it is very easy to get lost in the moment and unsee some vices.
But keep in mind that you are in for the long haul. If you do not set your boundaries now and let each other know as to what are the things that you dislike in each other, it may cause problems later on.
You definitely do not want to have the difficult conversations when you guys get to move in together after several hurtful years apart.
Less Physical Contact
Do not let anyone tell you that physical contact does not matter as much if you are truly in love with your partner. Because that must be one of the lamest things most people say and sadly most people believe.
Humans have evolved over centuries and learned to express love through physical touches.
To not be able to do that for several days at a stretch can be difficult for anyone. There is no reason for you to feel guilty or even ashamed of your start missing your partner physically. It is a perfectly natural emotion to feel.
Make the most of your situation-
Letting your partner know of your feelings always helps. In all probability, both of you would be going through this phase. Tell each other how much their hugs and kisses are missed.
It can be difficult to get used to this touchless relationship but think of the long-term plans and it may become a bit easier.
You can host regular video call sessions to see each other. Although they are hardly a substitute for the real physical touches, at least they will make each of you realize how much the other person matters for you.
Be prepared to get into ugly fights
No one ever told you that long-distance relationships are going to be a rosy ride. Far from it. With the advancement of technology, couples today can be in contact much more frequently and easily.
But that does not mean that they would not have misunderstandings leading to ugly fights.
The important thing is to be prepared for it. Do not assume that just because you guys are madly in love and that you are communicating on a regular basis, you would not get into quarrels.
When people are separated, the most mundane stuff can blow out of proportion.
Settling the fights matter more-
Stuff that we would not even notice if we were together can seem all the more important when we are far apart. Simple things like failing to answer a call or being late to reply to texts can lead to much larger fights than are warranted.
These fights might be a result of frustration and sadness that might have built up over days of separation.
It is important that at least one of the partners keep their calm in such situations and try to settle the issue. Frictions are much easier to be smoothened when people are living together or get to see each other often.
Not so much when they are far apart. Be careful not to say anything in the heat of the moment that cannot be taken back. And most importantly do not leave any fights unsolved.
It will be a roller-coaster ride, without a doubt
The single biggest mistake that couples make when they enter a long-distance relationship is to expect it to continue as any normal relationship.
They are not just extremely far away from the truth but are also setting themselves up for serious disappointment.
Long-distance relationships can have their fair share of charms. It is always a special feeling to meet your partner after staying away for long.
That first kiss after months feels like heaven. But then there are the extremely tough phases that can kill you at times. And they are part of the deal.
You only get the good times, if you bear the bad ones-
There will be periods when you feel lonely and broken and there is no one to support you. You will miss a shoulder to cry on. You might find your partner behaving strangely or showing a lack of interest in talking to you.
And the easiest action you can take in those times is to give up on your relationship. But remember, that no good things come easy. If you think you deserve a life with your loved one, be ready to work for it.
These are some points that might help you prepare yourselves when entering a long-distance relationship. But to be honest, no amount of preparation or thinking can make you adequately prepared to face the eventuality.
These are just some thoughts that you should keep in mind at all times, the difficult and the happy ones.
Only the prospect of a beautiful future can get you through this phase. The more you cherish that, the more strength you will find in yourself to overcome this part of your life.
Talk to each other and wade your way through till you find each other.